Since the turn of the 21st Century, the older population (defined as age 65 and older) in the United States has experienced a population explosion. That growth shows no signs that it is slowing down. On the contrary, experts predict that by the year 2050, older Americans will outnumber their younger (age 21 and younger) counterparts for the first time in history. With the growth of the older population, attention has shifted to the social and legal issues unique to the elderly and to those who care for them. As of the 2010 Census, the population of Leawood, Kansas had a population of approximately 31,867 residents with residents age 65 or older making up 15.3 percent of the population and almost one in ten households consisting of someone age 65 or older living alone.
Whether you are nearing retirement age yourself, or you are the caregiver for someone who is, you will likely be searching for resources and services aimed at assisting seniors in the community. The good news is that there are numerous resources and services for seniors in the Leawood community; however, you must know what they are and where to find them. To get you started, however, the estate planning attorneys at Parman & Easterday have put together the following Leawood, Kansas elder law resources.
As a resident of Leawood, Kansas, it is always a good idea to have some of the more frequently used local government resources handy. Many of those can be found on the website for the City of Leawood. The website offers telephone numbers and contact information for most city departments as well as helpful information about the city itself. It is equally important to be able to quickly and easily navigate to emergency contact information such as the Leawood Police Department which serves the residents of Leawood. You may also need to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department if you live outside the city limits.
Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Home Health Care
As we age the natural aging process can cause both physical and/or mental deterioration which may results in the need for assistance with the daily tasks of living. There may also come a time when you realize that long-term care is needed. Whether that means a move to an assisted living environment or to an area nursing home, Leawood offers numerous options from which to choose. The following resources may be of assistance to you in finding the right fit for you or for your loved one
- U.S Department of Health and Human Services offers the “eldercare locator” website which also offers a searchable database.
- Caring.com which offers you the ability to search for all types of care, including home care, assisted living care, and skilled nursing facilities in and near Leawood.
- Nursing Home Compare found on the Medicare.gov. This is the official U.S. government’s website for Medicare, offering you the ability to search for and compare licenses nursing homes anywhere in the country.
- Kansas Care Planning Council where you will find a list of LTC providers along with a wealth of information for seniors and those who care for them.
As the cost of long-term care (LTC) continues to rise across the country, the need to plan ahead increases as well. In 2018, the average yearly cost of LTC throughout the United States was close to $100,000. In the State of Kansas residents were fortunate to pay, on average, less than the national average at about $70,000 per year for LTC in 2018. Nevertheless, if you have to cover that cost out of pocket it adds up quickly. The best way to combat the high cost of care is to incorporate long-term care planning strategies and tools into your comprehensive estate plan. The estate planning attorneys at Parman & Easterday also recommend that you include Medicaid planning in your estate plan given the fact that neither your basic health insurance policy nor Medicare will help cover the high cost of LTC should you need it down the road. We can help you create a plan that will protect your assets, including your retirement nest egg, and ensure that you qualify for Medicaid if you need it in the future to help cover the high cost of LTC.
In the 21st century, retirees no longer look at retirement as a time to slow down. On the contrary, many seniors consider retirement a second chance to socialize, travel, and even spark new romances. For seniors living in and around Leawood, a wide variety of places can be found to mix and mingle. A great place to start is the Johnson County Recreation Department which offers a list of activities and resources for seniors. If you are a veteran, you may wish to visit the American Legion Post #327 located in Shawnee or the VFW Post 7397 in nearby Lenexa.
State and Federal Assistance
Many state and federal resources and assistance programs are geared specifically at seniors. An excellent example is the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. Many seniors also qualify for assistance from the Social Security disability or Social Security retirement program. For information, including application instructions, visit the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability website. To sign up for your Social Security retirement benefits, navigate to the sign up website of the SSA. If you are a veteran, or the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may also be entitled to a number of benefits through the Veteran’s Administration. Along with well-known benefits such as pension and disability benefits, you might qualify for additional benefits you may not be familiar with, such as Veteran’s Aid and Attendance benefits. Once you reach retirement age, you will likely be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program. Although basic Medicare is free to all seniors, Medicare actually has four parts and the other three parts may come with a premium. If you have questions about a covered service or need to find a provider, the official Medicare website can help. In addition, if you need help covering the high cost of long-term care at some point you might qualify for KanCare (Kansas’s Medicaid program). You may also qualify for the Frail Elderly Waiver Program which offers and alternative to long-term care.
Many seniors, and loved ones, find the dizzying array of state and federal benefits to be confusing. Navigating the rules and procedures required to apply for those benefits can be equally confusing. At Parman & Easterday we understand how frustrating it can be to run into one roadblock after another when trying to secure benefits to which you know you are entitled. Our attorneys and staff are dedicated to helping you in any way we can, whether you need help understanding the benefits available, applying for those benefits, or appealing a denial.
Getting Help from a Leawood, Kansas Elder Law Attorney
Whether you are a senior yourself or a loved one, our experienced elder law attorneys at Parman & Easterday are committed to helping you with the myriad of legal issues you may be facing. Along with planning ahead for long-term care by incorporating Medicaid planning into your estate plan, we can also review your existing estate plan to make sure other areas of importance of covered. For example, as a senior it is vital that you have an incapacity plan in place as well as tools and strategies that protect your assets. If you have strong feelings about end of life medical care we can discuss executing an advance directive that would legally require health care professionals to honor your wishes in that regard. Likewise, we can incorporate a funeral planning component into your estate plan to prevent conflict among your loved ones after you are gone and guarantee that your funeral and burial will occur in accordance with your wishes.
If you have need assistance with an elder law issue in Leawood, Kansas, contact the experienced elder law attorneys at Parman & Easterday by calling 405-843-6100 (Oklahoma) or 913-385-9400 (Kansas) to schedule your appointment today.